Messy Professional

Genius Hour – counterintuitive but feels right

This week I took a slightly different approach to Genius Hour (for a description, go here). Some of the students had expressed an interest in learning to knit. Another had mentioned wanting to get better at playing guitar. I brought in some resource people – one student’s Granny (the knitter), and a few senior students who play guitar. Students who had a project underway carried on. Anybody who wanted to, or anybody who was still casting about for a topic, could pick one of the two.

My goal here was to expand their understanding of what they can learn during Genius Hour. I am trying not to be directive as far as possible, but I felt a little nudge could make the difference in getting buy-in. I think the knitting group is off to a gallop. Five students plan to knit scarves for the next few weeks. The music group – well, we’ll see which of the 5 students that participated will want to carry on. I know I have one keener, and another who wants to learn how to play drums. Good enough. I am going to hire the senior students to come and give lessons for a month or so.

There are some bonus things going on here:

  1. Interactions with folks outside the school. I love seeing folks from other generations coming through the school. Also, maybe this will inspire them to invite some geniuses in their own lives to come in for something.
  2. A little music education in a school with no music program at all. That’s right -none.
  3. Students getting exposure to some young men who live and breath a passion. Just seeing what that looks like is going to be worth it.

Here’s the counterintuitive part. When parents ask, “What did you do in Humanities today?”, the answer will be, “I knit a scarf” or “I learned how to play a guitar riff”. It is a little strange. I was so thrilled by what I saw on Thursday, but it is a little hard to justify in a few short sentences. I get it. I hope they get it, too.

At least I can say that they will have to present that learning in some way.

I blurred faces because I did not ask the students if I could post them online.

4 Comments

  1. We had a genius hour on Friday too! Students will be finishing up and sharing on Monday and Tuesday. I wish school could always look like the learning that goes on during genius hour days.

    I hope your strike is satisfactorily resolved soon.

    Warm regards,
    Denise

    • kinden

      Thanks, I appreciate the kind words. Hopefully, we’ll connect for our #geniushour chat on Wednesday?

  2. Kelley,

    Great blog entry…I can’t wait to chat with you for our next #geniushour chat on Wed April 4th to see how it is going then!
    :)
    Gallit

    ps I am enjoying your blog…am envious at how many posts you have…you inspire me to blog more often!

    • kinden

      Thanks, Gallit! I decided to blog every day, but I think I need to pull back. I just doing have the time! It was good to do it to start. It kind of got me into the groove and forced me to trust my voice. Talk to you soon.

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